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ERIC Number: ED589023
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: 978-1-942502-22-7
Doing More with Less: The Charter School Advantage in Michigan. A Mackinac Center Report
DeAngelis, Corey; DeGrow, Ben
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
The appointment of Betsy DeVos as education secretary of the United States has led to much debate across the nation about public charter schools. Opponents of charter schools typically argue that these schools fail if their average standardized test scores do not exceed those of traditional, district-run schools. These types of comparisons, however, often do not take taxpayer inputs into account. Taking these inputs into consideration, public charter schools ought to be deemed successful if they are able to produce similar outcomes at a lower cost to taxpayers. In this study, the authors examine charter school funding inequities in 92 cities across Secretary DeVos's home state of Michigan. In addition, they calculate the cost effectiveness and return on investment of public charter schools in 71 Michigan cities. Similar to the findings of the existing literature on the topic, the authors find that public charter schools receive substantially less funding per pupil than traditional public schools. They reveal that charters in Michigan are more cost effective and produce a larger return on investment for taxpayers. Three key findings include: (1) On average, Michigan charter schools receive about $2,782, or 20 percent, less per pupil than traditional public schools; (2) Based in part on this funding disparity, the average public charter school studied is 32 percent more cost effective than the average traditional public school located in the same city; and (3) As measured by expected lifetime earnings of each student, the average charter school generates about $2.63 more return on investment for each dollar it spends -- 36 percent higher than the average traditional public school.
Mackinac Center for Public Policy. 140 West Main Street, P.O. Box 568, Midland, MI 48640. Tel: 800-224-3327; Tel: 989-631-0900; Fax: 989-631-0964; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Identifiers - Location: Michigan